The chapters that compose this volume arose from a series of four
workshops (The Four Corners of Psycholinguistics) held at the Max
Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics during 2003. The purpose of the workshops was to take stock of the state of the discipline of psycholinguistics at a time when the hosting institute (the world’s only research institute exclusively devoted to psycholinguistic science) was
about to face a challenge in the form of the retirement of its founding
director, Pim Levelt.
Each of the workshops took place over two days and involved six
presentations (some with more than one presenter) with ample time for
discussion. Besides the authors appearing in this volume, the programme
also included presentations by Elke van de Meer, Shari Speer, Lera
Boroditsky, and Antje Meyer; discussion sessions were introduced by
Pim Levelt, Pienie Zwitserlood, Rob Schreuder, Steve Levinson, Gerard
Kempen, Ton Dijkstra, Sotaro Kita, Wolfgang Klein, Peter Indefrey,
Wietske Vonk, and Anne Cutler.
Each workshop addressed one of the relationships central to psycholinguistics: psychology and linguistics, biology and behavior, comprehension and production, model and experiment. The same four themes form the four Sections of this book. The structure of the book does not exactly reproduce the structure of the workshops, however; in the
interests of thematic unity, some authors have found themselves assigned
to a section other than that of the rest of the workshop in which they
Financial support for the workshops was provided by the Max Planck Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Wissenschaften; the workshops were organized by Kerstin Mauth; camera-ready copy for this volume has been created by Rian Zondervan. To all of these, the editor’s most profound thanks.